Examples of ways to differentiate instruction
TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): 20th century (56), advanced placement (26), bill of rights (26), black history (114), civil rights (187), cross cultural understanding (151), cultures (128), difficult conversations (55), drugs and alcohol (27), environment (233), freedom of speech (13), media literacy (98), native americans (87), news (228), politics (111), primary sources (106), psychology (67), sept11 (18), supreme court (27), terrorism (41), world war 1 (67), world war 2 (142)
In the ClassroomHigh school social studies teachers will want to bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for lessons and videos to accompany current lessons. Use the lessons to differentiate activities based on student interests. For example, when teaching about the Bill of Rights, offer groups of students different topics to explore from the provided lessons, including the Pentagon Papers, evolution in science class, conspiracy theories, and Waco as a 2nd amendment battleground. Use Padlet, reviewed here, or Wakelet, reviewed here as a curation tool for you and students to gather resources related to their topic. Ask students to share their findings using a presentation tool like the ones found at Canva Edu, reviewed here, which includes options for adding links to resources shared.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAI is ever-changing, and the tools evolve and change every day. Use the tools in this collection to stay informed and learn about new tools that you can use to assess students. AI assessment tools save you time and can allow you to personalize the assessment to differentiate for all needs. Share this collection with colleagues looking for ways to assess using AI.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Brisk to quickly adapt and differentiate text or content by reading level and language needs or to translate text into the native language of multilingual learners and generate comprehension questions. Differentiate text for special needs students or gifted students based on their ability. Use the quiz creation tool to quickly generate quizzes that include multiple choice or short response questions based on the website's information. After generating quiz questions, copy and paste them into an online quiz creation tool such as Formative, reviewed here. Use Formative to engage students through teacher-paced or student-paced activities.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse Perplexity to increase your productivity, create assessments, and as a resource for finding classroom resources and lessons. For example, ask Perplexity to share lesson ideas for upcoming topics. Include your grade level, subject and topic, standards, and the type of lessons you would like to find. The more specific you are with your prompt, the better the results will be. Quickly create exit tickets, quizzes, portfolio ideas, and more simply by chatting with Perplexity. Upload a lesson plan, worksheet, or infographic as part of a prompt to create or differentiate assessments and activities. Use Perplexity to write letters of recommendation, generate information for classroom newsletters, and write grant applications. Learn more about using AI by watching the archive of OK2Ask: Using AI for Teacher Productivity reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): artificial intelligence (63), assessment (141), differentiation (79), Formative Assessment (66), grammar (139), grammar review (31), listening (65), reading strategies (93), speaking (22), vocabulary (231), vocabulary development (91)
In the ClassroomTwee isn't just for English teachers! Use Twee to create content for any subject area to engage students and enhance comprehension. Use Twee to differentiate instruction by creating reading passages with different levels of difficulty based on the same content. Twee's vocabulary tools are an excellent option when introducing new vocabulary for science content, social studies, or math terminology. Extend learning using NearPod, reviewed here to create interactive lessons using the content created with Twee, such as drag-and-drop activities and using comprehension questions as formative assessments.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Diffit to quickly adapt and differentiate text or content by reading level and language needs. Use Diffit to translate text into the native language of multilingual learners and generate comprehension questions. Differentiate text for special needs students or gifted students based on their ability. Engage students in the learning process by copying the questions generated by Diffit into an interactive quiz format resource such as Blooket, reviewed here. Extend learning by asking students to respond to the open-ended questions by sharing a video response using Flip, reviewed here. Encourage students to show creativity in Flip by using the included features in the camera, such as images, filters, and stickers.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many lessons and teaching materials provided by Skew the Script to find lessons and supplemental materials for use in math classrooms. Include the lessons as an engaging way to show students how these mathematical concepts relate to everyday life. Differentiate activities based on students' interests and abilities. For example, provide advanced students with supplemental activities that feature advanced concepts or use lessons to review previously learned materials. Many lessons include activities that use Desmos, reviewed here and include an accompanying teacher guide. Ask students to share their work created in Desmos by creating screenshots and including them as part of a reflection activity using Google Docs or Google Slides, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource to improve productivity by asking it to create quizzes, rubrics, lesson plans, and more. Because Claude includes the option to add files, increase productivity further by attaching a worksheet and asking it to modify the content to differentiate learning or to suggest ideas for presenting the content in a different format. Be sure to ask for information as precisely as possible by including grade-level information, the subject you teach, content standards and teaching objectives, and options for differentiating instruction. Math teachers can ask Claude to explain the content differently or ask for ideas on applying math topics to everyday life. In social studies or science, ask Claude to generate a vocabulary list or create a story based on your lessons incorporating essential vocabulary terms. ELA teachers might use Claude to get suggestions for interventions to support struggling readers or to find additional resources to support current lessons. Always verify any information provided by ChatGPT before using it. Claude is an evolving tool, and many features change (or upgrade) regularly.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site to find engaging science videos and podcasts for virtually any topic. Use the search features found in the Superheroes of Science YouTube channel and podcast page to search for episodes related to your current topic. Share a link to episodes with students to introduce a new topic, as a computer station activity, or as part of a flipped learning lesson. Include videos in lessons created with NearPod, reviewed here and add questions to the videos to enhance student understanding; include short questions in your slide presentation as a formative assessment and a quick option for creating differentiated learning activities. After watching videos and conducting your experiments and lab activities, ask students to create learning videos and podcasts to share with peers demonstrating the science content learned. Buzzsprout, reviewed here is an easy-to-use tool for creating and sharing podcasts, while moovly, reviewed here offers many free resources for creating and sharing engaging videos.
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomUse ReadM to engage and support new readers and to assist multilingual learners of any age. Include ReadM as a literacy center for students to practice reading skills and assign different reading levels to differentiate instruction as needed. Enhance student learning by using ReadAhead, reviewed here to create a guided reading activity. Share ReadM with parents to use as a reading practice tool at home or to demonstrate reading progress as demonstrated on the teacher dashboard. Extend learning using some of the many available literacy resources and interactives on Class Tools, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): adaptations (14), animals (271), biodiversity (30), cells (79), chemicals (39), climate (78), climate change (84), conservation (80), differentiation (79), earth (178), ecosystems (70), energy (130), evolution (87), forces (37), genetics (75), light (52), mass (19), matter (47), moon (70), motion (48), natural resources (35), oceans (140), organisms (16), solar system (106), space (209), stars (65), sun (68), Teacher Utilities (137), temperature (34), water cycle (21), weather (160)
In the ClassroomUse Propello's library of materials to supplement your current science curriculum by creating customized learning paths for students. Differentiate content based on student's abilities and interests. Propello's built-in assessments provide real-time feedback on student understanding and use that data to adapt instruction as needed. In addition to sharing activities on this site, engage students in science instruction using interactive simulations such as those found at phET, reviewed here. Instead of administering a paper and pencil test at the end of your teaching unit, enhance student learning by asking them to demonstrate learning by creating videos using Animoto, reviewed here or interactive presentations made with Genially, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse Almanack to quickly create classroom slide presentations, worksheets, and learning activities. Quickly create materials to differentiate instruction using the same topic but adjusting for different grade levels to meet students' abilities. A straightforward way to learn how to use Almanack is by beginning with the resources section. For example, start with video recommendations to find YouTube videos to include with your lessons. Being as specific as possible with requests will lead to the best suggestions that meet your needs.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse ChatGPT to increase your productivity and as a resource for finding classroom resources. For example, use the chat to find activities accompanying your current book study. An example question might be, "What are some activities to add to our study of Charlotte's Web in third grade?" Use a clarifying question to select one of the provided activities and ask for free online resources that support the provided response. This example includes several clarifying questions that provide additional ideas for books and activities to accompany Charlotte's. Ask ChatGPT to differentiate activities for students who need extra support or for those that need enrichment activities. Another use for ChatGPT is to write Student of the Week paragraphs; ask ChatGPT to write a paragraph including the student's name and accomplishments and revise the section to fit your needs.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): adaptations (14), colors (63), energy (130), environment (233), forces (37), fossils (40), habitats (87), mass (19), number sense (70), plants (140), seasons (34), soil (17), sound (74), space (209), STEM (245), summer (27), sun (68), tides (6), volcanoes (55), water cycle (21), weather (160)
In the ClassroomUse this site to offer your students STEM "degrees" in several ways. As a class, complete an activity weekly as an introduction and review of science content by including the video as part of a computer center activity. Work together to complete the quiz for each video, then request a certificate to recognize your class's accomplishment. Another option is for students to work toward achieving certifications on their own. Share this site on your class newsletter for students to complete over the summer as an exciting way to engage in science activities and earn a STEM degree. One benefit of having the option to choose from different grade levels is the ability to differentiate learning by offering various courses to students based on their interests and abilities. Some students may choose to earn several degrees in different grade levels. Support and encourage students to pursue STEM degrees by taking pictures of completed degrees and adding them to your class website. Extend learning by asking students to research one of the topics, then share a presentation with peers using Canva Edu, reviewed here. Canva Edu offers many options for creating and personalizing presentations including slides, infographics, and flyers.
In the ClassroomShare this article and the included activities with peers as part of your professional development activities. Work with your peers to identify specific nonfiction texts to use during your lessons. One excellent resource for finding short, nonfiction articles is Newsela, reviewed here. Assign articles to students through Newsela and differentiate information based on individual student needs. Use Newsela's annotation feature to highlight text features discussed during your lessons.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): blended learning (17), coding (85), digital citizenship (80), engineering (116), environment (233), equations (116), geometric shapes (130), graphic design (49), internet safety (109), literature (217), map skills (55), measurement (125), media literacy (98), narrative (15), numbers (120), operations (74), order of operations (28), problem solving (220), remote learning (63), Research (79), social and emotional learning (72), spanish (102), STEM (245), substitutes (27), writing (308)
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site as a resource for lessons in many content areas to engage students using popular video clips. All lessons are created as remote learning activities making them easily adaptable for both in-class and out-of-class assignments. Easily find activities to differentiate instruction for different student ability levels by browsing options below or above the student's current grade level. Many lessons include worksheets in PDF format, turn these activities into a digital format by taking a screenshot of the document, then save as the background on Google Slides, reviewed here. Add text boxes in the appropriate place on the slide for students to add responses. Use Pear Deck Flashcard Factory, reviewed here, to create flashcards for students to practice the vocabulary highlighted in each lesson.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): branches of government (62), civil rights (187), constitution (84), declaration of independence (14), elections (77), electoral college (21), environment (233), journalism (69), nasa (30), STEM (245), supreme court (27), video (252)